Woman said she was punched several times by former partner who is sentenced for ‘appalling catalogue of offences’

Coleraine Court

A woman was punched several times on the face by her former partner and as she fled the contents of her bag spilled out onto snow, a court has heard.

The attacker, Joseph Louis McFaul (32), of Eglinton Street, Portrush, has been given a suspended jail term for “an appalling catalogue of offences”.

A prosecutor told the August 13 sitting of Coleraine Magistrates Court that on February 28 this year McFaul’s former partner said he had punched her about ten times around the face and head and grabbed her as she attempted to leave the Eglinton Street address.

The woman said McFaul followed her down and continued to assault her leaving her with bruises and a cut.

She said the contents of her bag spilled out in snow and her mobile phone, passport and medication were missing.

The court also heard McFaul failed to pay for fuel on three occasions at a Tesco Express in Limavady.

Insurance and licence offences also came to light.

In another incident, at 1.55am on December 22 last year, police saw a car stop suddenly 150 metres short of a vehicle checkpoint at Ballyquin Road, Limavady, and try to reverse but it stalled.

Tablets were found in the car and McFaul admitted charges including driving whilst unfit.

He told a police officer at the scene: “Sorry boss”.

On another occasion the defendant was caught driving an uninsured car at Ballysally in Coleraine.

In relation to the assault, defence barrister Michael Smyth said his client had “over-reacted”.

He said McFaul has a support worker and the defendant has an appointment regarding addiction issues.

Regarding the fuel thefts, Mr Smyth said they were small amounts and happened at a time when McFaul was struggling financially.

Deputy District Judge Laura Ievers told the defendant it was an “appalling catalogue of offences” and reminded McFaul there were agencies trying to help him.

McFaul was given an eight months jail term, suspended for a year; a 15 months driving ban and fines of £250.

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